Australia pacer Pat Cummins was today named as Australia’s 47th male Test captain following Tim Paine’s resignation for the post just a couple of days back. Former captain Steve Smith will deputise Pat Cummins for the Ashes 2021 Series. The Australian pacer who was the deputy of Tim Paine had been the overwhelming favourite to take over the job after Tim Paine resigned from the position over sexting scandal. For Steve Smith, this is the first official leadership position since being stripped of captaincy role after ball-tampering scandal in 2018.
Ashes 2021: Pat Cummins named Australia skipper
As per multiple media reports, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith were the only two candidates interviewed for the positions of Australia’s captaincy role. Cummins becomes the first Australian bowler since Ray Lindwall in 1957 to captain his side in Test cricket. Lindwall, a member of Don Bradman’s invincibles squad of 1948, took on the responsibility for a single Test. Cummins took over the captaincy of NSW’s one day team last season but has to lead the side in a Sheffield Shield match.
Following the appointment As Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins said,
“I am honoured to accept this role ahead of what will be a massive Ashes summer. I hope I can provide the same leadership Tim (Paine) has given the group in the past few years. With Steve and I as captains, a number of very senior players in this squad and some great young talent coming through we are a strong and tightly-knit group.This is an unexpected privilege which I am very grateful for and am very much looking forward to.”
Steve Smith in his statement said, “I am pleased to return to the leadership of the team and look forward to helping and assisting Pat in any way I can. Pat and I have played together for a long time, so we know our respective styles well. We are also great friends, as is the whole group. As a team, we want to play good, positive cricket and also really enjoy each other’s company.There are exciting times ahead as we focus on the Ashes and beyond.”
Batter and former captain Steve Smith has been named vice-captain of the team.
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) November 26, 2021
Tim Paine takes ‘indefinite’ leave of absence from cricket before Ashes 2021
Following the sexting scandal, Tim Paine decided to give up on captaincy of the Australia test team. On Friday, the former captain decided to take an ‘indefinite’ leave of absence from all cricket “for the foreseeable future” with just 12 days left for Ashes 2021 series to begin. Tim Paine’s manager, James Henderson, in his tweet said “Confirming that (Paine) is stepping away from cricket for an indefinite mental health break. We are extremely concerned for his and Bonnie’s well-being and will be making no further comment at this time,”.
With Tim Paine no longer behind the stumps, Alex Carey and Josh Inglis are the lead contenders to take his spot, with the pair named in Australia A squad that will assemble in Brisbane this weekend. Both will now have the opportunity to keep wicket at Australia’s intra-squad practice match next week.